Brandeis, Louis D.
Lehman, Herbert H.
Levy, Uriah P.
Magnes, Judah L.
Santangel, Luis de
Seixas, Gershom M.
Singer, Isaac B.
Straus, Isidor & Ida
Torres, Luis de
by Paul Vincze (1973), Haym Salomon, Patriot.
In the early
1770s, at the time of the partition of Poland, Haym Salomon left
his family and arrived in New York on the eve of the Revolution.
His command of German made him welcome to the Hessian forces,
which he served as a supplier of goods. When the British suspected
him of spying, Salomon was arrested and confined to prison for
command of several languages enabled him to serve as a broker
to the French officials in Philadelphia. In the diary of Robert
Morris, Superintendent of Finance for the new American government,
Salomon's name appears frequently in the period 1781-84. Morris
wrote: "This broker has been useful to the public interests ..."
Salomon prospered and was able to be financially helpful to a
number of public figures, such as Alexander Hamilton and James
Madison. In 1782, Madison acknowledged the "kindness of our little
friend in Front Street, whose assistance will preserve me from
extremities but I never resort to it without great mortification
as he obstinately rejects all recompense."
Salomon died prematurely in January 1785, he held $353,000, largely
in depreciated certificates of indebtedness and continental currency
... all virtually worthless. The Pennsylvania Packet wrote "He
was remarkable for his skill and integrity in his profession and
for his generous and humane deportment."
Haym Salomon was actively involved in Jewish community affairs.
He was a member of Mikveh Israel Congregation in Philadelphia,
and made the largest single contribution to the erection of its
first building in 1782. The following year, Salomon joined with
other prominent Jews in an address to the Pennsylvania Council
of Censors urging them to remove the religious test oath required
for office-holding under the State Constitution. And in 1784,
he answered a personal slander in the press by proclaiming boldly:
"I am a Jew; it is my own nation ... I do not despair ... that
we shall obtain every other privilege that we aspire to enjoy
along with our fellow-citizens."
(Extracted from a paper by Dr. Samuel Rezneck,
Professor Emeritus of History, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Here to Take Haym Salomon Quiz
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